31 Things You Can Freeze To Save Time and Money!

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The last few weeks I have been in “squirrel mode”. I have been buying large amounts of grapes and FREEZING them before the season ends! I do NOT like the grapes that they have in the grocery stores during the winter months. They are yucky. :-)

And since frozen is my PREFERRED way of eating these sweet little gems…freezing a bunch for winter is a no-brainer and an easy way to save money (check here for coupons).

But this got me thinking about other things I could be freezing. I’m pretty sure I could probably save a considerable amount of money if I just knew HOW best to freeze things that I purchase in bulk. As it is, I’m afraid I end up throwing out way more than I need to. I actually bought a FoodSaver recently to address this problem…but am coming to realize that while a FoodSaver machine is NICE…what I need even MORE is good information about WHAT I can freeze, and HOW.

Well, after LOTS of research…I have come up with my Top 31 Things You Can Freeze To Save Time and Money:

things you can freeze

Cheese
You can freeze blocks of cheese without it becoming crumbly if you let it thaw completely before putting it in the fridge. If you prefer to shred your cheese first, add a tablespoon or so of cornstarch or flour to the bag and shake it to prevent clumping when it thaws.

Another great idea…buy a big piece of Parmigiano Reggiano (the good stuff!!), grate in the food processor and put in a freezer bag. It keeps for months and all you have to do is open the bag and scoop out a couple of tablespoons when you need it.

things you can freeze

Homemade Pancakes, Waffles, French Toast
Make up a few batches over the weekend for quick “defrost and go” breakfasts during the week. Freeze on a cookie sheet, then toss them in a freezer bag. Reheat in the microwave, toaster, or toaster oven. WAY better then the frozen ones you buy in the store!

things you can freeze

Fruit
When freezing fruit, it’s best to first freeze spread out on freezer or parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and then place in bags. Individual frozen pieces let you pull out just how much you need.
Try keeping a “Smoothie Bag” in the freezer. Toss in extra apple wedges, peaches, pears, bananas, chunks of melon…any kind of fruit…and use in smoothies.

If you don’t like handling mushy bananas, just throw the bananas into the freezer with the skin on. Then when you need them for a recipe (banana bread anyone?), pull out what you need, microwave for a few seconds, then cut off the top and squeeze the insides into your mixing bowl!

things you can freeze

Rice
Cook a big batch of rice, spread it on a cookie sheet on parchment paper and freeze. When the rice is frozen, just put in a freezer bag or containers and you have rice in a pinch! Great for BROWN rice which takes so long to cook! Use in casseroles, soups or fried rice.

things you can freeze

Pies
Make apple pies in the fall to enjoy throughout the year. Bake them and freeze them in freezer bags wrapped in freezer paper then when you have a hankering for pie, take out of the freezer, remove wrapping, and place in oven for 2 hours at 200 degrees. You can also freeze SLICES after baking a whole pie. Just don’t forget the ice cream on top! :-)

things you can freeze

Corn
An EASY way to freeze corn on the cob is to put the ears of corn, WITHOUT removing ANY silk or husk, straight into freezer. When you want to eat it, put it in the microwave just the way you put it in the freezer and cook for 5 minutes on high for two ears or 4 minutes for one ear. The silk insulates and protects the corn while it cooks. Tastes like fresh-picked corn!

things you can freeze

Tomatoes
Roast roma tomatoes in the oven at a low temperature (225 degrees) with garlic, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil for 4 to 5 hours. When cooled, transfer to freezer bags. Use them in chili or in your own tomato-based sauces.

things you can freeze

Pasta
Whenever you make pasta, go ahead and cook the whole package and freeze any leftovers for later to add to soups and casseroles.
Or freeze individual size portions in a baggie, making sure to squeeze out the air and get the bag as flat as possible. Reheat by running hot water over the bag for a few minutes!

things you can freeze

Flour and Other Grains
Freezing flour and other types of grain that come into the house for at least three days discourages any univited “guests” from hatching. You can also store it in the freezer, just make sure to double wrap to avoid condensation and to keep it from picking up other freezer smells.

things you can freeze

Pesto
Make (or buy) and freeze pesto in ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop it out and put in a freezer bag. Nice to have pesto whenever you want it.

things you can freeze

Mashed Potatoes
Using an ice cream scoop, put even portions of mashed potatoes onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. Freeze until hard then transfer into a freezer bag. These will keep in the freezer for at least 2 months.

things you can freeze

Cookie Dough
Make a big batch of your favorite cookie dough, scoop onto cookie sheets and freeze. When they are frozen solid put them in freezer bags. When you NEED cookies, bake as few or as many as you NEED without lots of waste or guilt. Just add 1 to 2 minutes to the cook time.
You can also make “slice-and-bake” cookie dough by shaping it into a cylinder, and freezing it wrapped in foil.

Soups and Chili
Cool leftover soup completely and transfer to a freezer-friendly container, leaving about 1 cup of empty space for expansion during freezing. The night before eating, move the container to the fridge to thaw safely and then reheat and serve.

things you can freeze

Broth and Stock
Keep a gallon bag in the freezer and add any leftover veggie pieces, including onion peels, celery stalks, potato peels, etc. When you have enough, make vegetable stock.
Keep another bag for pan drippings or sauces that are left after cooking chicken. This can be used to flavor soups.

things you can freeze

Sandwiches
When you pack lunches for school or work, it’s a real timesaver to pull a sandwich straight from the freezer. Just throw it into your lunch box/bag in the morning and it’s thawed by lunch time. It also helps keep the meat cold. Peanut butter & jelly or honey, or deli meat and a slice of cheese work well. You can freeze butter or mustard but not the mayo, lettuce or tomato. Those can be packed separately or added in the morning.

You can also freeze breakfast sandwiches. Cook scrambled eggs and sausage/bacon in bulk, pile them onto biscuits or english muffins, wrap them individually and then freeze! In the morning grab one out of the freezer, microwave and enjoy.

things you can freeze

Potato Chips, Crackers and Pretzels
Stock up on chips, crackers and pretzels when they are on sale and throw them in the freezer. FROZEN chips actually taste BETTER. Eat them straight from the freezer, they are crisper and the flavors pop.

things you can freeze

Milk
Ever wonder why plastic milk jugs have those circle indents on the side?? They are there to allow milk to expand while freezing! I had no idea! What a revelation!
To use frozen milk, let thaw, and then SHAKE WELL before opening, to make sure any solids are remixed.
You can also freeze buttermilk! No more tossing out half a quart because you only needed a cup!

things you can freeze

Juice

Like milk, the only concern about freezing juice is leaving room for expansion. A good rule of thumb is to take out 8 ounces for every half gallon of juice. Stock up when it goes on sale or at a discount warehouse.

things you can freeze

Bread, Baked Goods
When your favorite bread is on sale, stock up and freeze it. Or when you’re in a baking mood, make extras of your favorite baked goods and freeze them for later.

Tip for defrosting baked goods or breads: place them in your microwave overnight. It keeps them from drying out like they do on the counter.

things you can freeze

Buttercream Frosting
Yep. It’s true. Freeze leftover frosting (it would be a CRIME to throw any away!) then when you need to frost something (or just need a frosting fix!) let it thaw in the fridge, then whip it up and color/decorate as if it were just made.

things you can freeze

Tomato Paste
Most recipes using tomato paste only call for one tablespoon out of the whole can! Then you’re left with an almost full OPEN can. What to do!? Put the rest in a little sandwich bag, flatten it out in the freezer, and when you need a tablespoon, just break off a piece and throw it into whatever you are cooking! Saves money, and the paste lasts forever! (Well, maybe not FOREVER…but a GOOD, LONG TIME!)

things you can freeze

Diced Veggies
Dice onions, chili’s, or bell peppers, then freeze flat in gallon freezer bags. As they are freezing, press “score lines” into the bags so you can break off as much or as little as you wish for recipes.

things you can freeze

Homemade and Store-Bought Dough
You can freeze all kinds of homemade dough – pizza dough, focaccia dough, pie crust – shaped in a ball and wrapped in saran wrap.
Or you can also freeze canned biscuits, crescent rolls, pizza dough, etc. right in the tube. Stock up when they are on sale!

things you can freeze

Eggs
Really? Who would have thought? Crack the eggs in a freezer bag, and freeze. Or crack eggs into an ice cube tray for cakes and cookies. Thaw out in refrigerator and use as you normally would.

Shredded Chicken
Cook a big batch and shred or when you get a rotisserie from the grocery store, shred the leftovers and put it in a bag. (Be sure and use THIS TRICK to shred it!) Great timesaver when making enchiladas!

things you can freeze

Lemon/Lime Juice and Zest
Squeeze lemons and limes into ice cube trays, then pop them out after they have frozen and store in freezer bags. Now you have “fresh” lemon and lime juice whenever you need it. AND, you never have to kick yourself for letting another bag of lemons from Costco go to waste! (Been there, done that.)
Don’t forget to ZEST the lemons/limes first and keep that in the freezer as well!

things you can freeze

Herbs
Freeze fresh herbs in ice-cube trays with a little water or leftover stock to use for soups, stews, and casseroles later in the year.

 

things you can freeze

Marinated Meat
Place meat in a freezer bag, pour in marinade and freeze. When you defrost it, it will be fully-marinated and ready to cook.

things you can freeze

Homemade Casseroles
When you are cooking a casseroles (lasagna, mac and cheese, enchiladas, etc), why not make TWO and FREEZE one for when unexpected company drops by or to use during a busy school/work week.
You can do this a couple of ways.
1. Freeze the entire casserole by lining the base of the dish with freezer paper, adding the ingredients, then freezing it in the dish. When it’s frozen solid, remove from the dish (easy to do thanks to the freezer paper), rewrap the food and put back in the freezer. This saves room in the freezer and allows you to continue using the dish. When you want the item for a meal, unwrap and place in the original dish to defrost and cook.
2. Bake casserole, let cool, and then cut into individual servings and freeze. Reheat in microwave!

things you can freeze

Fish Sticks
Forget those tasteless sticks in the blue box! Buy fresh fish in quantity, cut it crosswise into fish ‘fingers’, dip in egg, dredge in flour and bread crumbs, then freeze laid out on a tray before transferring to freezer bags – SO much better than anything you buy in the store!

things you can freeze

Hamburger
Don’t ever stress about defrosting a pound of hamburger for dinner again! Pre-cook ground hamburger and portion it out for meals. When you need hamburger for shepherd’s pie, sloppy joes, tacos, or whatever….pull it out of the freezer, add the seasoning, and microwave. Three minutes, or 1 minute and 30 seconds if it’s going to be baked and doesn’t need to be thawed all the way. For crock pot meals, like chili, just throw it in frozen.

Wow! Who knew you could freeze all of those things??  I certainly didn’t! Now I just need a decent sized FREEZER to put it all in.  Definitely on my wishlist. :-)

So what do YOU freeze??


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Comments

  1. Emma says

    I use wide mouth mason jars to freeze in (check to make sure that particular type is freezer safe, some aren’t )
    I have a food saver but it was a little trouble to wash and re-use the bags and they kept coming off the post in the dishwasher recently I started using plastice clothes pins to secure them to the post to keep them upright and open. Even though the dishwasher sanitizes them I felt like they were not really clean unless the water could circulate in them.

    • Trixie says

      Hi Emma. That’s a good idea about the glass jars. I too have a FoodSaver but I just can’t bring myself to re-use a bag that has had meat in it. I don’t care how “clean” it is. I only re-use bags if they had veggies, fruit, dough, or something like that in it. The glass jar would definitely save money. I’ve also found (by accident) that the Seal-o-Meal bags also work with the FoodSaver. I haven’t checked the amount of bag material in the Seal-O-Meal box but it’s definitely cheaper than the FoodSaver ones.

      • Megann says

        I too have a Food Saver, and found the cost of the bags to be ridiculous. I found on e-bay a person who sells rolls of food saver type bags in 50 foot lengths for about $20. The roll is to big to fit in my machine, so I just cut the length i need and use it that way, until the roll is small enough to fit in the machine. I have found that these bags are just as effective as others out there but a whole lot cheaper. Hope that helps. :)

        • monique says

          I broke down and bought a SealAMeal because of all the bags I kept seeing at the thrift store. Whole rolls for 50 cents! I see them all the time….I used to be upset at this throw away society but now…I just clean up at the thrift stores. Couldn’t imagine buying retail! BTW…got my sealameal for $2, practically brand new! My Husband thinks I’m the bee’s knees!

          • Kim says

            You’ve got me beat! I found my Food Saver for $5 at a garage sale. My husband just LOVES it! We buy a lot of meat in large packages and repackage it. I also buy flats of berries and various vegies in season and freeze them. My favorite thing to freeze is fish bought from Native Americans right at the water and take it home, cut it up and freeze. Salmon in the winter for just a couple of bucks per pound!

            • Nicole says

              Got even YOU beat! I asked on Freecycle and a lady had two and I got it for free! I use the Seal a Meal bags with it because the foodsaver bags were 75% more at Fred Meyer! Just having this thing for the past week, I’ve got so many things in the freezer. Had I paid for the FoodSaver, I probably would have just paid for it this week alone.

              • Muse says

                When I was growing up, my mother had a food saver…she used it all the time, but as kids, we would use it for our popsicles. The kind that are in little plastic tubes. At the end of the summer, or sometimes in winter, whenever they went on clearance, she would buy a huge box of them. After we finished one, we would refill it with juice from the fridge (takes a little practice) and then reseal the plastic tube and freeze it. Of course we would always rinse them out before refilling them. As I recall, you can get at least 4 refills per bag (more if you don’t mind smaller popsicles.
                My mother would only buy one large box per year, and she always said when they were gone, that was it. I’m not sure where we got the idea to reuse them, but we always had popsicles…all summer long.
                Plus, as a kid, it was thrilling to make my own flavor and to feel like a ‘grown up’ while reusing. We were always taught to stretch our pennies and it made me feel like I was helping, while still getting what I wanted.
                As an adult, I haven’t yet owned one, but I can see I’m going to need to rectify that asap. Considering how disappointing ‘freezer bags’ have been in my experience. My mother never had freezer burn with her food saver, but I have it all the time with those stupid store bought ‘freezer’ bags.

    • LibStre says

      Hi Emma–Thank you for sharing this tip regarding re-use of the FoodSaver bags. I have been hesitant to fully enjoy the machine specifically because of the cost of the bags; looks like you’ve just revitalized my enjoyment of the product. :)

      • Theliz says

        I will often freeze meat in another wrapper, such as freezer paper, then tuck it in the vacuum seal bag. If you remove it from the vacuum bag prior to thawing, there should be no transfer of juices. I too used to be too grossed out to reuse them. The sealed meals in a bag saved my sanity when we totally remodeled our kitchen. I prepped enough things to eat that I simply reheated entire meals in the bags so I had less dishes because a small bathroom sink and/or bathtub was bad enough for our dinner dishes!

        • Marianne says

          Didn’t realize last response was going to be under here. So here is another good thing about the food saver and bags. While camping I was tired of spending all my time cooking and cleaning. So now I make everything and put it in the bags and freeze. Then when I am ready to go camping I put the meals in the ice chest they work as the “ice” also. Then I just boil it in the bag and I have hot water to do the little dishes we do have.

    • SouthernCharm says

      Be careful with the mason jars. I’ve tried this before, and ended up with broken glass in my freezer.

      Stick with plastic to be safe! And, keep those mason jars in the pantry or in the fridge.

        • Gwyn says

          Yes sealing in a bag first and even leaving the bag unsealed will likely leave air pockets. I would use plastic wrap or freezer wrap first if you want that barrier, you don’t need to wrap the way you would if you were using it on it’s own or with foil just to have something between the meat and the vac-seal bag, then use the vac-seal bag and machine as usual and let it remove all the air. I have used both freezer paper and wax paper between things like stacks of deli meat or cheese slices in a vac-sealed bag so I can take a section at a time out to defrost and use and then re-seal the rest.

    • Claire says

      I have one, but the bags generally don’t seal well anymore, not sure if it is a problem with my machine or the bags :/ Also, not sure if the bags are BPA free, and it worries me to freeze them and then heat them.

  2. Penny Kuckkahn says

    I cook a lot of beans and have found they all freeze great. I also freeze left over hummus, refried beans, nuts and cream.i put the heavy cream in ice cube trays for recipes that call for just a little bit. I cannot wait to try mashed potatoes.

    • SD Mom says

      I second the beans idea. Cook up a big batch of kidney or black or pintos in the crock pot; then freeze them in 2-cup portions. Much cheaper than canned beans, and taste better too!
      I also freeze muffin batter. Make the batter and freeze in foil liners. Bake them a few minutes longer than the recipe calls for and you have fresh hot muffins for breakfast.

      • Christine says

        There is no need to soak dry beans before cooking in a crock pot. Simply rinse them and cook on HIGH for 8 hours. Done. I then either drain and rinse the cooled cooked beans and freeze in 2 cup portions, or if I want “unrefried” pinto or black beans, I cook them, and remove a few cups of liquid. Then, I use a stick/immersion blender to desired consistency, adding back in the bean juice as needed. I freeze these, too. Delicious, fiber rich, fat free, and cheap.

        • Rae says

          Soaking beans isn’t strictly necessary, but it purportedly reduces the indigestible sugars (which reduces flatulence for eaters). Plus, soaking shortens cooking time, which means more nutrients remain in the beans.

          • Erinn says

            I’ve done a few experiments with soaking versus no soaking before crock pot cooking my beans. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve noticed a difference in our reactions. Soaked beans definitely seem to make a difference in reducing our gassy reaction.

            • Catherine Smith says

              My grandmother in law taught me the trick of adding a teaspoon or so of baking soda to your beans when they’re soaking to remove gas. You can see the bubbles start to come to the top when the baking soda hits the water. (Ok, so little things excite me, LOL) Just rinse well and you’re off.

              Love the tip about freezing heavy whipping cream. I don’t use it often anymore, but do use it during the holidays for various cookies and candies. We have some local dairy farmers selling fresh during the summer, so I will stock up. Much cheaper and a whole lot fresher. Thanks :)

              • Cynthia M. says

                Also adding baking soda to the soaking water helps if you have hard water with a lot of minerals in it. I had a difficult time getting my beans to soften even after hours of cooking until I started adding the baking soda. I first read add it to the cook water, but that makes them mushy… adding to the soak water they come out perfect.

              • Shelly says

                My dear MIL taught me this trick of adding baking soda to reduce the gas effect. She forgot to add the part about rinsing it out after soaking and before cooking. I always wondered if that was a oversight, lol.

        • Debbie says

          Soaking beans, all grains really, is actually quite important. It does not have to do so much with the taste but the breaking down of the anti-nutrients in the grains or seeds. Pre-soaking also releases more of the nutrients in them allowing for better absorption. I have found that brown rice tastes a lot nicer if it is soaked before cooking.

    • Ronda says

      Penny I freeze alot of beans as well but I hate the time it takes so I bring them to a boil then let it set for 30 min then I rinse them and put fresh water on them with salt. Then I use my pressure cooker for only 18-20 min and they are done. I drain them again and let them cool. when they are cool I use my food saver bags and put 2-3 cups per bag and then freexe. I usualy do 3 or 4 batches at a time so I always have them in the freezer when I want them. For those who use the food saver it says right in the instructions not to reuse bags that have had raw meat in them ever!!! any thing else is ok just not raw meat!

  3. Lynn says

    Since my mother had fruit trees and bushes all over her back yard, there were always pies in her freezer. However, she didn’t pre-bake them before freezing. She probably wanted the baking aroma in the house for guests :) She assembled the pie in one of her Corningware pie dishes, froze it until solid, then put it in a freezer bag and baked from frozen before a dinner party. It works just as well, and frees up your pie plates to use in assembling more pies!

      • Laurie says

        I’m thinking she pops the frozen pie out of the pie plate before placing it in a freezer bag. When ready to cook, take out of bag and put in a pie plate then bake. That’s how I do it anyhow.

        • Andrea says

          You’re right Laurie….I’ve been doing this for years. I spray the pie pan with Pam then fill it like it had crust and ready to bake…freeze….take it out of the pan (easy because of Pam) wrap in aluminum foil (i find foil lessens freezer burn)…..title it and date it then return to freezer. I stack them up on the shelf of the freezer….saves so much room! When ready to bake…get your crust ready, put in a pie pan and bake.

          • April N. says

            Or you could line your pie plate with plastic wrap (enough extra on sides to cover top) then crust and filling. Cover top with excess wrap, freeze, remove from pan, place in freezer bag. Then you just unwrap it when you are ready to cook it.

      • amy says

        don’t put a frozen glass pan in a hot oven or it will crack. When putting a very cold or frozen pan in the oven put it in the oven & Then turn it on & it will heat up the pan slowly so it will not break

        • says

          Normally I might agree with you, but sometimes people do certain things that make the pyrex break.
          When you use it from the freezer, you should put it in a cold oven (full)_ and THEN turn the oven on….
          That way it heats up as the oven does !!!
          Also, if you take pyrex out of the oven you MUST put it down onto a towel or potholder !!!! Make sure
          it isn’t WET !!!!! Any surface, like counter, oven, gas grate, or trivet is always going to be waaaaay too cold for the pyrex !!! A WET pot-holder or towel will also be waaaaay to cold for the pyrex !!! I put one down on my stove surface, and it only took a minute, and CRACK !!! Dinner ruined ! I have learned, and now have no problems !!! It just can’t take the extreme change of temp !!! Just gradual !!!

          • Tina says

            I have also had Pyrex break when I pulled frozen meat out of the freezer, placed it in Pyrex dish. and placed in the oven. About 15 minutes in I heard a large “PoP” from my oven…sure enough…shattered!

      • Candace says

        I think she meant that she takes the frozen pie out of the freezer and puts it back into the pie plate and either into the oven on 200 degrees for a couple of hours or lets it thaw out first?

      • April says

        At my restaurant we freeze a lot if our pre baked goodies in tinfoil pans. They r cheap n re useable if u want to slip the pie out n then put it in ur piepan. Plus u can make a huge batch of pies without having to have a closet full of pie pans. And no exploding pan worries. Cajes are the easiest to freeze, bake, cool, remove, wrap and freeze.

  4. says

    What a great list. Thank you for the ideas.

    I freeze birthday cake when I have leftovers. It does last a good while :)

    Also I have frozen cooked ham bones (after slicing the ham off the bone) and dug them out later to make soup.

  5. danielle says

    As an add on to Susan’s comment, I freeze chicken bones for broth. I rarely have a whole chicken so when I get bone on meat I freeze the bones . When I get a bag full I make broth in my crock pot.

  6. Ivriniel says

    When I freeze overripe bananas, and want to put them in a smoothie, I just run the banana under hot water while scrubbing with my fingers to remove the skin. This way, the skin comes off, but the banana stays frozen, so I don’t have to add ice to the smoothie.

    • KimH says

      I used to do this as well.. and I also saved bananas to make banana bread, but my S/O told me that he kept tasting a bitter taste from the skins of the banana after they were frozen. Now I just peel them, beforehand, and put them in a baggie & toss into the freezer. Its a lot easier over all and I dont have to worry about thawing the skins off.

  7. says

    This reminds me…I haven’t had frozen cookie dough in my freezer for months! Gotta get with it. I like to roll my cookie dough in a log, wrap it well with plastic wrap and freeze. When thawed, you can cut slices and bake!

  8. mdoe37 says

    I’ve used the hamburger trick. It dawned on me after yet again forgetting to take out a pound of hamburg for dinner. . . . . it always felt like I was reinventing the wheel every time.

    Cook and freeze up a lot when its on a killer sale. Double bonus savings of time and money!!

  9. Kristi says

    I have done a few of these things for years and appreciate the other ideas! I also make my own individual freezer meals-i make a hot dish (or whatever meal) and put individual servings in little baggies and freeze-put into gallon freezer bag labeled (taco hot dish- 2 points plus) and tastes much better than the frozen meals!

  10. Jeff says

    Hi Jill,
    Been watching your site now for a few weeks and I love it.
    As the cook and grocery buyer at our house, I’m always looking to stretch the budget, so here’s something I do:
    We eat a fair amount of chicken, and I usually buy the whole bird and break it down, just because it’s cheaper.
    I keep a couple of large 2 gallon ziptop bags in the freezer, and one of these gets the back, wingtips, etc of the chicken carcass. If I debone breasts, the bones also go in there. The second bag is for the giblets, when I get them.
    The carcass parts get accumulated until I have about 15 or so pounds, then it’s time to make chicken stock. The giblets get saved up for either Thanksgiving gravy, or on the occasion when I want to make REAL dirty rice.
    Also, when we eat shrimp, I save the uncooked shells and bag them as well. Once or twice a year, there’s enough to make shrimp stock, which is always nice to have for either shrimp bisque or a seafood gumbo.
    One other thing… and it’s not frozen, but it is timely…
    Each year, after Thanksgiving dinner, I put the picked turkey carcass in the biggest stockpot I have, add water and some veggies, and slow simmer it all night long. Next day, I strain it and can it up in quart jars. I generally get 12 to 16 quarts of high grade turkey stock, which makes for killer soups all year long.

    Keep it up! I love the DIY concoctions you’ve come up with and am trying new ones daily.
    Best,
    Jeff

    • says

      Wow Jeff, you’re quite resourceful when it comes to getting your money’s worth! I always have good intentions of making broth when I buy a whole chicken but it never happens. I usually give the turkey carcass to my sister because she likes to make soup out of it.

      • Jeff says

        Thanks, Judy.
        I can a fair amount, including chicken and beef as well as vegetables. Having a couple of quarts of turkey stock on hand, along with a pint of canned chicken and a pint of canned carrots makes for a very quick and easy chicken noodle soup.
        I find the turkey stock has a more savory flavor than the chicken stock, so it holds it’s own in some of the more robust soups.
        Also, for the ultimate in fast comfort food, you should try canning pot roast/beef stew.
        Put raw beef, potatos, onions, carrots, celery, etc. along with a bullion cube into widemouth quart jars and pressure can. Just a fast reheat and you’ve got an awesome dinner.

        • says

          Jeff- you sound like a great cook !!! Not everyone knows how to “pressure-can” beef stew or anything else !!! It sounds great ! How does one learn how to do this safely ??? Isn’t a pressure canner pretty large ???

          • Catherine Smith says

            Jeff, you better be glad I’m already married, otherwise I would be a chasin you, I love a good looking man that can cook. LOL Pressure cookers come in all sizes, guys. I have three, a large, medium and a smaller one. I use the 2 large ones mainly for canning, and the smaller one for just regular cooking for things like Jeff mentioned. They were my mother’s so their about 90 years old. I buy a new gasket for them every year when I’m using them and periodically go to the local extension office to have the pressure gauges checked for accuracy. This is just a safety precaution given their age. The old wives tale about them exploding is just that, a tale. The very first one’s that were invented did explode, however, they change the materials they were using to manufacture the cookers and that was resolved. They are essentially another kitchen tool and you must pay attention to them when you’re using them.

      • Linda says

        I’ve started making chicken broth in my crock pot. In fact, I’ll be making some today with the bones of a chicken my husband smoked yesterday and the gallon bag of frozen celery trimmings and carrots from the freezer. I find that making chicken broth is a lot easier in the crockpot where I don’t have to babysit a pot on the stove for hours.

        • Susan says

          Thanks for the inspiration Linda. One of our favorite meals includes homemade vegetable soup made with chicken broth and I’ve been looking for an easy way to make my own low-salt broth. I’ll put that crock pot to good use.

    • Jacalyn says

      Thanks for tip about shrimp! Any clue if you could do that with parts of crab shells? For a seafood stock? Living in DE near Chesapeake Bay lots of Blue crabs in summer!@ Jillee fabulous post… I do freeze veggies, fruits, homemade broth, cookie dough, bread, cooked chicken & meats for casseroles etc. but so much more on here I didnt know… Thanks

      • says

        Jacalyn! I make crab stock out of our crab shells all the time! Cook crab with old bay… eat the crab… Throw out the lungs… I don’t use the roe either… but the rest of the “trash” goes in the stock pot… cover with water plus a couple of inches, bring to boil and simmer for as long as you can… add water as needed… split into two cups each to use in gumbo, chowder, or ettoufe! We love our crab down here in northwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. At Christmas we use all seafood trash after our feast of seven fish to make stock… but the straight crab is our favorite for gumbo

    • Rita M says

      I’ve found that I can make stock over and over with the same bones. I do it until the bones get soft. Then I grind them up for the dog. Big treat if you ask him!! I don’t usually do a turkey, so I just use the crock pot over night.

  11. Jeff says

    Oh, one thing I forgot to mention to everyone…
    For freezing, the ABSOLUTE best thing you can do is get a vacuum sealer. This will cut freezer burn out completely, and extend the freezer life of your food by many months.
    Foodsaver is a good brand, and if you do a LOT of freezing like we do, there are higher end models out there that work great without breaking the bank.
    Imagine buying the whole ribeye roast on sale at 6 0r 7 dollars a pound and slicing your own steaks, then vacuum sealing the dinner’s worth. Next time you see ribeyes at the grocer for $15/lb, you can just smile and walk on by.

      • Marne says

        Cathy,

        Anything that is low acid…meats, corn, green beans…and many others, its pressure can. Process times and lbs of pressure will vary depending on what you are canning, the size jar used, and where (altitude) you live. Sea level process times are shorter than higher altitudes, such as in the Rockies. This link can help you determine how long and the pressure required for many foods you may want to can.
        National Center for Home Food Preservation http://nchfp.uga.edu/

    • Colleen P. says

      We do a load of Foodsaver freezing-my husband is diabetic, and needs to know what’s in his food, and the Foodsaver makes portion control so easy. Even with the cost of the bags, it’s cheaper and healthier than eating out. We also purchase meats when they’re on sale for their absolute best price and seal and freeze them. The military commissary often has a big bin of marked down meat and I rummage through it every time I go, and as it’s usually still frozen I rewrap in in a Foodsaver bag and it goes right back to the freezer. This week chicken breast, bone in, skin on (oh such flavor!) is on sale for 99 cents a pound at a local grocery store. I’m almost out of my previous sale purchase, so I’ll probably get 30 pounds of it. I save the bones and make stock several times a year and freeze it in containers that hold either 2 or 4 cups as that seems to be what we use most. I am DEFINITELY going to try the turkey stock idea though! I agree, turkey stock seems so much richer.

      For the record, the off brand freezer bag rolls, while half the price, usually only have half the quantity of bag length-read the packaging carefully. They have not been a money saver for me.

      I think it may soon be time for us to look into a higher end model, the one we’ve got now (the second one) is starting to overheat a lot.

      • Jeff says

        Colleen,
        Not sure how ‘high end’ you’re looking to go, but I bought a refurb unit from Cabela’s a few years back and it’s been awesome. Not only is the vacuum pump amazingly strong, but the seal tape puts a solid 1/4″ seal on the bag. The only times I’ve had bags fail to seal were when a sharp bone or such caused it.
        I don’t know if Cabela’s still carries the one I bought (CG-15 I think), but they have a slightly newer one that looks every bit as good. It’s a tad pricey, but it’s designed for serious heavy duty use for years. I think I paid around $250 for mine, refurbed.
        And you’re right about the bag quality. I don’t mess with the cheaper brands of bags. I buy the Cabela’s bags in bulk rolls, usually 2-3 boxes at a time, and I’m good for months.

  12. Barb Sutherland says

    I actually freeze peppers and onion in sandwich bags and then put the sandwich bags in a gallon bag. that way when i need some I just grab as many sandwich bags as needed. No fussing with it.

  13. Amy says

    I also make and freeze grilled cheese sandwiches. Great with tomato soup or after school snack. I toast bread lightly and then make grilled cheese as normal. I recommend a little butter on inside so when reheated insides are a little creamy. I wrap mine in paper towel and in individual sandwich bags. My boys can then take out of bag and microwave for 20 sec or I reheat in oven. By slightly toasting bread they keep a crunch.

  14. Georgann G says

    Bones from roasted chicken makes the best stock. Usually, I stash in the freezer and wait until I have the bones from 3 to 4 chickens to make a big batch. Freeze stock (I usually purchase cheap ‘disposable’ containers just for this) and then soup is easy for those chilly winter days.

  15. says

    This is a great post! I always freeze onions and peppers, I just cut up the whole thing at once and freeze them. Frozen grapes are the best!! :) When apples go on sale, I like to buy a bunch and mix them up with sugar and cinnamon for apple pie filling. Microwave for about 5 minutes then cool and freeze. You are set to jet with apple pie filling!

  16. Kristy says

    Thanks for this, Jillee! LOVE your blog and am sharing it with everyone I know.

    Every time I make cookie dough, I double the recipe, then freeze cookie dough in cookie-sized balls in a freezer bag with zip top. When we want fresh cookies, I pop them in the toaster oven (great for hot summer days!) or on winter days, in the regular oven. You can do 1-2 or the whole batch.

    Also, every time I need to boil a chicken, I freeze in easy, useable portions, I fill muffin tins. They freeze in roughly 1/2 cup portions, so it’s very easy to grab the amount you need. No more chicken-flavored chemicals!

  17. Kristy says

    For freezing overripe bananas, I always remove the peel before freezing, and place them in a single layer in a ziptop bag. Then when you need to use them, the peeling is already gone.

  18. Marce says

    Who knew that my mom was so smart! I kinda thought she was just cheap. But, now I see that she was one smart woman. Growing up when grocery stores were closed on Sunday, we always seemed to run out of milk on Sunday night, no fear…we had plenty in the freezer. We always had flour, coffee, fruit, green peppers, soup stock, just about everything on your list was in our freezer. I always hated having to go downstairs into the dark basement to get something out of the freezer. It seemed so scary! We had three freezers. One for venison, one for the side of beef and hog we would get each year and one for all these goodies. I wish she was here to tell her how much I appreciated her thriftiness and thoughtfulness. We never went without even on a tight budget because she was prepared. Thanks Jill, for reminding me, that I should be doing the same for my family.

  19. Trixie says

    I have a question for anyone who knows the answer. I make homemade breads all the time and almost every recipe I have makes way too much bread for our family of three so I’ve been reducing the recipes but you can only reduce it so much…..ya know? Anyway, my question is, when freezing dough, do you freeze it before that last rise, or do you go ahead and let it rise through, then punch it down and wrap it. When thawing, do you thaw on the countertop so it can rise again? I’d really like to make my full recipe and have a loaf of fresh bread ready to go in the freezer for next time. Thanks.

    • Trena says

      Trixie, I make my bread in the winter & freeze it before the first rise. When I want bread in the morning, I will get it out before bed & when I get up in the morning, it is thawed & has risen, so just needs punched down & do the second rise while I’m in the shower, then bake.

    • says

      I’ve made the bread and freeze after the 2nd rising. I will shape it into whatever shape I want (loaf, buns, rolls, breadsticks, etc) and freeze it like that. (Wrap it well!) When I want to use it, I take it out, put it in a greased pan and let it thaw/rise overnight in fridge. It’s ready to bake in the morning.

      So you can freeze it either way – before any of the risings or after any one of them. Choice is yours. hth

      • Colleen P. says

        I agree-you can freeze it at just about any point before baking, as long as it still needs at least one more rise. I bake a lot as well and while I currently have a teenage boy who ensures I NEVER have too much bread, I do anticipate a day when it won’t get devoured before it even cools off! LOL!

  20. Deborah Jennings says

    On freezing eggs . . . you need to poke a hole in the yolk, or whip to blend the white and yolk together. About a quarter of a cup of eggs, equals one large egg. I have frozen lots and lots of things. I love blackberries half frozen, and covered with milk. Not a lot of milk though. (This was before I knew that you could blend them with milk and a small amount of sugar to lightly sweeten.

    And when you freeze casseroles, if you line the dish with foil, you can take the casserole out of the dish and still be able to use the dish for other things. Just slip the casserole, foil and all, in either a zippered bag, or seal it with a vacuum sealer.

    With your soups and stews, put them in a zipper bag, flat in the freezer (in meal sized portions, or individual sizes). When they are frozen, seal in a vacuum sealer. The flat bags take up less room and are easier to defrost when the time comes to defrost it.

    I also grew up with freezer meals and such. The frugal side thankfully rubbed off on me. =)

  21. Susan says

    First, I want to say that I love reading these ideas everyday! I used a couple of the freezer ideas already. Thank you for all of the rest of them! Especially the buttermilk one! I do have one question though. For the Roma tomatoes? Do you really roast them for 4-5 hours? Is that at a low temp? I wasn’t sure if you meant minutes, but I am still learning so I thought I would ask :)

  22. KimH says

    I too, use many of these ideas already.. I freeze cheese, but didnt know to let it thaw completely at room temp to keep it from being crumbly. I’ve got to try that one since my S/O wont eat cheese from the freezer unless its cooked or topped on some other food.

    Some of the things I do are:
    I grow many herbs, so I will just put a handful or two in a baggie & label it & toss in the freezer. They are then freeze dried & rarely have I had to throw anything out. (only after they’d been there for years)
    When you buy those plastic containers of herbs from grocery store, just toss em in the container they came in. I do & they keep for years.

    I store all my solid chocolate candy bars in the freezer. I rarely eat a whole one, so I’ll just toss it in the freezer and when I have a hankering for chocolate, I’ll break a piece off. I dont feel like I have to eat the whole thing.

    I store individual portion size containers (rubbermaid) of homemade soups & stews in my freezer. When I want something, I just pull it out, pop it in the microwave, or take it to work and it’ll thaw by lunchtime and still keep everything in my lunch bag cold. I also use a Crock Pot Lunch heater that I can just put the frozen block of soup/stew in when I first get to work & by lunch time its the perfect hot temperature to eat.

    One year, I found bell peppers & Italian cubanelle peppers on a super sale at the end of the growing season at a price I couldnt pass by. I bought a half bushel (at least, maybe more) of each and then went to my warehouse grocery store and bought ground beef & sausage to stuff them. I froze them on cookie sheets with parchment paper, then when frozen, I put a meals worth in FoodSaver bags & sealed them for the freezer. Its become something I do all the time now.
    When we want stuffed bell peppers, I put them in my pressure cooker frozen & cook about 5 extra minutes. The Italian peppers, I just put on a jelly roll pan and cook in the oven or cook them on the grill.

    I keep all nuts, seeds, & meals in the freezer including flax, coconut, sesame, sunflower, pecans, walnuts, corn flour, wheat, rice flour, etc etc

    I make an extra large foil packet of roasted garlic and just fold it up & put it in the freezer. When I need a little bit of roasted garlic but dont have time to make it fresh, I have a large batch in the freezer. It doesnt freeze rock hard so you can pull off however much you need easily.

    If I have a little bit of leftover salsa that is really special (like the kind we get from one of our local eateries) I freeze it in little decorative silicone ice molds. When they’re frozen, I remove them & put them in a baggie and keep in the freezer. I always have just a little bit of something special to use when I need a small amount, where a little dab will do ya, like when Im making hash browns or Mexican rice.

    I buy the large square containers of parmesan & bleu cheese and after putting about 1 cup containers in my frig, they go straight to the freezer. I used to waste so much before freezing.

    I also buy the large containers of already peeled fresh garlic from Costco & toss it into the freezer too. I just shake it up & take out what I need, when I need it & none of it goes to waste.

    I do many of the things on your list & the lists of others but this is all I can come up with right now.
    Thanks so much for a really great blog.. I always enjoy reading yours!
    Blessings!
    KimH

  23. Sandy says

    I have tried many methods of freezing eggs and I am not happy with them after they have been frozen. The yolk gets jellylike and the white gets runny and watery. If you mix the two together and freeze they just come out as a mix of water and jelly. Yuk. So try a few before you decide to freeze a quantity, you may not like it. Or maybe you will like it.

  24. Holly says

    I do most of these things already. My family really like muffins, so I make huge batches of them when my seasonal ingredients are on sale. Bake them then freeze on a cookie sheet then put them in freezer bags. 20-30 seconds in the microwave and they taste fresh baked. I also make breakfast burritos wrap them in a paper towel then freeze ,transfer to freezer bags.

  25. Chris says

    Over the years I have learned to freeze just about any and every thing. I’ve always owned at least one freezer and from the time my kids were teenagers I’ve owned two. It started out that one was for meats and one was for all other things. Now they both are mixed with some of every thing (which I’m going to change when they get empty enough to do so).

    My kids are now grown but they love it when Mom is able to give them loads of stuff that I have frozen, that was purchased on sale. I doubt there is any meat or veggies that I paid regular price for any where in either one of my freezers. I stock up when veggies are fresh and in season. I blanch them like my grand mother did, cool them down and package them in freezer bags.

    My son has always been an avid hunter, so I’m always getting venison burger, sausage or steaks from him. The one thing that will make meats go bad fast is the amount of fat content, so I try to stick with the leaner cuts of meat to prevent this from happening or I trim it off once I get it home. I buy all of my meat when it is going out of date at a very reduced price. I take it home and most of the time repackage it then freeze it. Also most of the packaging used in the meat department for fresh cut meats will not hold up to freezing for a long period of time. You will get freezer burn through it, therefore I repackage mine to prevent this from happening. Most meat once freezer burned is only good to cook for the dog(which he doesn’t mind).

    I buy those cheap fold over sandwish bags or either the cheap zip lock sandwish bags and put individual meat portions in those, then I place those in a good quality quart or gallon freezer bag. I mash all of the air I can out of it and then place it flat in the freezer for freezing. In doing this you can reuse your freezer bags, since the meat doesn’t touch the freezer bag as it is inside a sandwish bag.

    It will take time to do these things, but I have found it is well worth it and will save you loads of money in the long run. As for meats that come prepackaged from the factory, bacon, tenderloins, ham steaks and things like this, the packaging on this stuff is the best for freezing and unless you want smaller portions, I would just freeze these as is.

    You’ll need to learn your stores schedule for marking things down, but once you do then you can really stock up your freezer with some good quality meats. Just remember and this is where I mess up sometimes to rotate your meats and use the oldest first. That can sometimes be hard to do if you’ve put stuff on top of it, but it really does help to save to do these things. I pay any where from .49 cents a pound for chicken breast to 2.99 a pound for a beef tenderloin steak, so it does really pay off. Just remember if you get home and open it up and it doesn’t smell right, take it back. It’s against the law in Florida and I would assume in most states if not all to sell bad food even at a reduced price. In Florida the Department of Agriculture is over this type of thing, so if you have any issues with this call the agency that controls it in your state.

    Oh by the way some grocery stores don’t mark stuff down. Publix is one that doesn’t here, but Winn-Dixie, Food Lion and Harveys do. Sorry this is so long, but I love to share my ideas for savings with others who may want to do the same thing.

    • Chris says

      Oh I almost forgot. I also keep one of those gallon hard plastic Mayo Jars with the screw on lid in my freezer. I use it to throw left overs in. Such as veggies, roast or things like that, that would help make a good hardy vegetable/meat soap. When it is about full I will take it out, thaw in the fridge, add meat/veggie stock to it and whatever else you need to add to make a good hardy soap. Works great every time and you end up with a really good soap from left overs over a period of time.

      • Jaunnette says

        I know you meant soup and not soap, and that really is a good idea and I’ll probably use it myself.. But I got such a giggle imagining somebody making meat and veggie SOAP, and scrubbing up in the shower with these chunky food bars.

        That’s a great way to reuse those plastic containers too, I never thought of that.

  26. says

    I don’t have a big freezer so I’m limited to how much I can store. I freeze cooked ground beef, leftover gravy (even if there’s only a half cup – it can be added to a new batch), mashed ripe bananas, shredded cheeses, butter (I always stock up when it’s on sale) and bread. We’re going to start making Christmas cookies soon. We can freeze them in airtight containers so we don’t have to start baking like crazy right before Christmas.

  27. Corky says

    Freeze limes and lemons whole! Just pop them in the freezer. When they thaw the juice is twice that of a fresh lime/lemon and seems to be so much more concentrated. We buy the big bags at Costco and slice them onto backed salmon fillets, etc.

  28. Linda says

    What a great & helpful post! I have used a lot of these tips for years, but some were new to me. When I cook ground beef for freezing, I always add onion & garlic to it since almost everything you will make with it calls for onion and/or garlic. I also buy pickle relish is gallon jars and put it in freezer bags or containers. Lasts practically forever! I buy chicken leg quarters when they’re on sale and cook all the thigh portions up with all the seasonings needed for chick & rice, chicken & dumplings, etc. All the meat is taken off the bone & shredded, then put in 2 cup portions in freezer bags. The broth is also divided into 2 cup portions and put in either bags or containers for the freezer. Chicken & rice has become my alternative to Hamburger Helper for busy nights or quick meals! Now if I just had a much bigger freezer….*sigh*

    • Sarah says

      If you have a dehydrator, you can also make your own tomato powder, then just use the same ratios to get paste or sauce, Ive been doing this trick for years, and it’s also great to just add the powder itself to soups or stews for a hint of flavor

  29. Setjay says

    I freeze diced mushrooms ! So easy to pick up for adding some veggies to a pasta or rice meal… This way i always have fresh and white mushrooms ;)
    I have to think about diced onions because i can’t bear the smell on fingers…

    • Leana says

      Setjay, and everyone else,
      to remove onion smell from your hands, first wash with soap & water, then rinse and rub your hands on the stainless water faucet. If you do it with soap still on your hands, then it’s “double-duty”. Clean hands, clean faucet. Something about the metal faucet neutralizes the onion odor!

    • sheila says

      to get rid of onion smell on your hands wash them with soap and water then rinse then pour white vinegar over them no need to rinse just dry the smell of vinegar will go away once they are dry and no onion smell

      • Susan Beckstrand says

        Use cold water on your hands, knives & cutting boards after cutting onions, and there is NO after-smell!

        All these tips are very useful. I’ve done many of them over the years, but WOW, lots of additional ideas! Just a few ow my own ideas:

        We freeze whole loaves of store-bought bread, although when you thaw it out, put it on the counter upside and the moisture redistributes more evenly. That way I can buy bulk at the bread store, and only go once a month for my big family. You can also freeze things like chinese noodles, etc. Freezing keeps brown rice from going rancid.

        You can freeze whole ginger (peeled or not) and just grate it as needed in your recipes. Garlic can be frozen whole. Just peel when ready to use. Leftover fresh cilantro, basil? Chop if you want, ziplock bag it, date & identify it, and put it in the freezer.

        Put leftover veggies (diced onions, celery, green peppers, carrots, etc.) in a freezer bag to throw in your next soup. I even freeze baggies of spinach before the fresh spinach can go bad. Then you can empty it into a smoothie whenever you want. Frozen bananas – peel them first, slice into small rounds, freeze, break off what you want for your smoothie, they separate easily.

        I also blend up zucchini to throw in soups/spaghetti, etc. all winter long for added nutrients, (when blended the kids don’t know it’s there). I use old yogurt containers.

        Frozen COOKED hamburger (with or without onions) thaws much more quickly and is ready to use in a fraction of the time.

        Love my freezer!
        Susan

    • Chris says

      Nancy this is a great site. I like the way they explain stuff based on the packaging and the fact that if kept frozen below zero degrees that various meats will last indefinately. I have found this to be true but most things you look up do not say that. All else fails and something does get freezer burned then my dogs get a great treat cooked for them.

  30. Landon says

    Jillee,

    I do lots of freezing too, but you gave me lots of ideas for other things I could be freezing. Thanks for the great tips every day. =)

    I do have one tip to pass along about the frozen milk. My Dad’s first job was a milk delivery man – back in the day – and my parents still freeze milk all the time. He has always said that bad milk won’t foam. So when you pull that milk out of the freezer & put it in the fridge, but have no idea how long it will keep just remember to give the jug a little shake when you pick it up. If it’s gone bad you won’t see any bubbly foam. If it’s still good you will. That’s good to know if you are too chicken to smell to see if it’s sour, or if you might be too congested to be able to smell it. LOL

  31. ronna says

    I buy a whole chicken and boil it in a big pot. When cool enough to handle, I take the meat off the bones, chopping the bigger pieces as needed. Then portion into one-cup amounts and freeze in the old-fashioned fold-over sandwich bags. That way I have one cup of already cooked chicken ready to make casseroles, chicken pot pies, enchiladas, you name it.

    • says

      I do the same, but I cook mine in the crockpot with no liquid… less mess and less waste… meat falls off bone… throw trash back in the crockpot with some water and let it simmer all night for excellent stock.

  32. Ilene says

    Tortillas! I pack them with a paper towel in between each one so they don’t stick to each other. The paper towel just peals right off, and I can just use what I need. They thaw on the counter in about 5 minutes.
    I also freeze coffee – beans or ground. Keeps longer.

  33. Laurat99 says

    Since I’m the only one in my family that likes (red) pasta sauce, I freeze what I don’t use in muffin cups. I use liners and a muffin tin, pour the sauce, freeze, then put the red pucks in a ziploc bag and use when needed.

    • KimH says

      avocado was another thing I thought of later. I got the idea from Schwans Foods, but you can freeze avocados with a little bit of chopped onion, pepper, cilantro & lemon or lime juice for guacamole. Just let it thaw out a bit & mash away. I ran into a deal at Aldi where they had great avocados for 10 cents each.. It was a GREAT stockup day! :)

  34. Linda says

    I buy a big chunk of ginger root and peel it. I throw it in the freezer in a bag just grate it frozen when I need some for a recipe. Really brightens up whatever dish it goes into better than powdered.

    • Becky P says

      I buy a big chunk of fresh ginger then grate it all at once and freeze in in small “globs”. That way I can just pop a “glob” of fresh ginger out of the freezer when I’m making stir fry. It thaws in just a couple of minutes. I only have to make the mess and take the time to peel and grate it once. It tastes just like fresh!

  35. Lisa says

    I freeze pretty much most of these items. I freeze homemade granola bars in snack sized baggies because I make 3 pans at a time for my son who eats them during tennis meets (this became a standard and favorite snack among his teammates). I have started freezing vegetable peelings in a gallon sized bag and then making and canning vegetable stock when it is full. I am all about saving time in the kitchen getting a meal ready and saving money by preserving foods both in the freezer and canning garden produce.

    • Chris says

      Not sure if you can freeze them prior to cooking them. When my kids were school age I use to cook up several pans of them, then cook the sausage patties and put them in the biscuit. I would then freeze them in individual sandwich bags and put as many as I could fit in a zip-lock gallon size freezer bag. The kids would then just pull out one or two, pop them in the microwave and they were good to go.

      This was either before they had the ones that are already made up or either it was my thrifty way of saving instead of buying the already make up ones. My kids loved these and they were great if they were running behind schedule and didn’t have time to sit down and eat breakfast.

      • RL says

        You can totally freeze can biscuits, pizza crust, sweet rolls, etc. I do it all the time. Just defroze in refrig overnight and bake as normal. You will not hear the can pop when you open it (like when fresh) and sometimes it will not “rise” as much as when fresh, but they taste just as good.

      • Sherie Sorensen says

        Chris I do the same thing for my husband so he has a warm breakfast before he leaves early in the morning but i also add egg that i scramble in a small round bowl in the microwave that makes it the same size as the biscuit I also add cheese slices and he just throws them in the microwave I also put them on english muffins

    • Kim says

      You can’t freeze the canned biscuits in the can because the can will explode BUT you can take them out of the can and freeze them or bake them and then freeze them. But a friend of mine and I get together and make several batches at once and freeze the raw biscuits on a cookie sheet then repackage into bags. Then just bake when you want them.

  36. Sue says

    two more tips: I make soups and stews in large batches on Sundays, then freeze them in quart size ziploc bags. In the winter, I lay them on my car hood for awhile so they will freeze flat, then put them in the freezer. They take up less room that way and you don’t have to keep a zillion plastic containers.

    Several years ago, I found a recipe for meatballs and several things you could do with them besides spaghetti. I made them in large batches, freeze them on cookie sheets, then put them in meal sized portions in ziploc bags in the freezer. You can make spaghetti, meatball stew, barbecued meatballs, a cabbage and meatball pie, meatball subs and lots of other things with them.

    • Diane says

      An easy way to get your food to freeze flat in the bag is to lay it out on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once the food is frozen, you can remove the cookie sheet. That way, you can do it all year round! HTH

  37. Holly Roberts says

    Both the Blog post and the readers comments have had a weath of information – thanks everyone! Here’s one additional freezing tip I do, and haven’t seen posted. We are a small family – just my husband and I. There is no way we can eat a whole batch of cupcakes when I make them, so I just pop the left overs in the freezer.

    I also freeze my buttercream frosting in little buttons, and save those in the freezer as well. Then, when we want a cupcake after dinner, I pull out a cupcake, top it with a frosting button, when I start dinner, and by the time we are done with dinner and cleaning up, I spread the frosting and we have cupcakes for dessert!

  38. sherry says

    I had a bunch of peaches that were very, very ripe. I peeled and took seed out then froze. The best was when my 15 year old and her friend went crazy over the frozen drinks I made with ice and frozen peaches. They just could not believe there was no sugar added.

  39. Isa says

    How do you freeze yoghurt so that it does not go off when it defrosts?
    I once froze a pint of yoghurt and let it thaw a couple of weeks later…when I poured some out to eat, I noticed that it had kind of separated into sort of solid little yoghurt flakes and liquid. Needless to say, when I ate it, I was… shall we say, relieved?
    Yes, it worked as a great, almost instant laxative! :-)
    Just saying, better make sure that the defrosted yoghurt (and milk and cream) you are about to enjoy does not look iffy, otherwise you might end up with an upset stomach. ;-)

    • Tiffany says

      It was probably bad before you froze it. The watery stuff you see is the whey, and it’s normal for it to separate after it’s sat for a couple of days. Freezing it won’t make it go bad, although I’m not a fan of the texture of it once it’s thawed so I don’t usually do it.

    • says

      If you’re looking to use up extra yogurt before it expires, I recommend using freezer paper/wax paper, etc and putting little dollops on a cookie sheet. Freeze the yogurt “buttons” for a fun snack (especially great for kids). Also, you can freeze small amounts of yogurt in a standard or mini muffin tin (use cupcake liners) and they seem to thaw just fine.

  40. Betty Keeney says

    When you cook a large amount of rice (or when you make fried rice) put a serving size in fold lock top baggie and put in freezer. When you want it, just microwave for 3-4 minutes. Tastes as good as when it was first made. So convenient!!

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